Monday, August 5, 2013
Breakfast links: Cowboys take it away
By Dan Graziano
Good Monday morning to you all. You're going to start noticing some significant changes to the NFC East blog this week, beginning today with the addition of John Keim as our Redskins blogger. We welcome John, who is great at what he does and will make this blog and ESPN.com better. Please treat him with the respect with which you have always treated me. Heh-heh. Just kidding. Obviously, you should treat him better than that. At least at the beginning.
Other changes will be announced and explained as they come. In the meantime, I do have here some links.
After collecting only 16 takeaways in the 2012 season, the Cowboys changed defensive coordinators, schemes and front-seven alignments and have been preaching the importance of generating more turnovers. They got two in their first preseason game Sunday night against the Dolphins. And no, preseason games don't mean anything, but they can help you feel good about yourselves if things happen in them to reinforce what you've been working on in training camp.
I'll have some extended thoughts on the Cowboys' preseason opener later this morning, but I thought the starting offensive line played well, in particular rookie center Travis Frederick. Guard Ronald Leary got a lot of work, and the Cowboys are serious about him as a potential starter.
New York Giants
Ralph Vacchiano writes that the Giants are better off at running back this year having let Ahmad Bradshaw go and replaced him with younger players in David Wilson and Andre Brown. And sure, no one's arguing that. Bradshaw's continual injury problems left the Giants no choice but to move on. But even Wilson and Brown would admit they've got significant shoes to fill as pass-blockers.
Tom Coughlin left after Saturday's practice to fly to Canton for Bill Parcells' Hall of Fame induction and made it back in time for Sunday's work. He said it was worth it.
With all of the turmoil the Eagles are enduring at the wide receiver position, newcomer Arrelious Benn has a shot to be a Week 1 starter... if he can get and keep himself healthy.
Lots of positive reviews in recent days of veteran Michael Vick as the Eagles continue to try to pick a starting quarterback. And yet, he can't stop hitting those pesky "flyswatter" things in the 7-on-7 drills. It's a reminder that, whichever way the Eagles' starting quarterback race shakes out, it's not likely to provide a perfect or permanent solution.
The important injury recoveries, and the performance of the rookies in the secondary, rank among the positives Mark Maske is drawing so far from Redskins' training camp. Offensive line concerns and depth in the defensive front are some of the negatives.
Rich Tandler is thinking about possible surprise starters and suggests Aldrick Robinson at wide receiver and rookie David Amerson at cornerback. I don't think either is completely out of the question, though if those things were to happen I think it would be bad news for the chances of Leonard Hankerson and Josh Wilson to make the roster.